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OneZero
The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.

Climate Change

In OneZero. More on Medium.

Pattern Matching

Blockchain takes a substantial toll on the environment that experts are beginning to reckon with

The price of one bitcoin, as I write this, is $57,383 — more than 10 times what it cost just a year ago. That price is volatile, so it will be different by the time you read this. But rest assured it will remain expensive.

There’s another toll, though, for every bitcoin created: the toll it takes on the environment. It’s one that is not paid in full by either the miner or the buyer. As bitcoin reaches new heights, fueled by advocates such as Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey, it’s a cost that’s becoming impossible to ignore.

The Pattern

Crypto faces…


Well, perhaps virtual reality. But that’s about it.

In an interview with The Information on Monday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that augmented- and virtual-reality glasses would help mitigate climate change by allowing people to virtually “teleport” places rather than physically travel.

“It’s going to have a big society-wide impact on a lot of things we care deeply about like climate change, because look… obviously there are going to keep on being cars and planes and all that,” he said. …


A Q&A with the acclaimed science fiction author and inventor of better futures

Insurrection. Global pandemic. Cascading climate crises. Never-ending Zooms. We seem to be living through the dystopia Hollywood has always dreamed of, sans a satisfying narrative arc.

In times like these, nihilism beckons. Just give up, history seems to be saying. There’s nothing you can do. The best you can hope for is to protect your own as you watch the world burn.

Fuck that.

Some novelists begin a new story by identifying a central theme, and then let the characters, plot, setting, tone, pace, and all the rest unspool from there. That’s never worked for me. Instead, theme is usually…


We’ve run out of letters to name our storms, and entered a brand-new, catastrophic era

A NOAA GOES-East satellite handout image of Hurricane Dorian (Cat. 5 storm) tracking towards the Florida taken Sept 1, 2019.
A NOAA GOES-East satellite handout image of Hurricane Dorian (Cat. 5 storm) tracking towards the Florida taken Sept 1, 2019.

On Friday, one of the most remarkable moments in recent meteorological history opened a window to our future.

A strengthening swirl of clouds spinning in the central Atlantic earned the name Tropical Storm Wilfred — exhausting the list of 21 alphabetical names given to Atlantic tropical cyclones by the Miami-based National Hurricane Center on the earliest date in history. And then Subtropical Storm Alpha was born off the coast of Portugal. At the same time, a “‘”medicane” — a Mediterranean hurricane — was approaching the Greek islands. And then, just a few hours later and 6,000 miles away, Tropical Storm…


A failing economic model, a health crisis, and mass joblessness — the Covid crisis shows we need to radically harness technology to remake our economy, now

Aaron Bastani is the author of Fully Automated Luxury Communism, published by Verso Books.

As the 2020s got underway, citizens around the world faced a panoply of crises: a broken economic model, political stagnation, climate change, and demographic aging. In isolation, each presents a historic challenge, necessitating a shift in social consciousness and a new political settlement. In combination, however, they pose an existential assault on our civilization. And this was before the coronavirus catalyzed the worst global downturn since the 1930s — making it clear we need a systems change: what I call Fully Automated Luxury Communism.

Before the…


We have to start somewhere

Bicycle commuters crossing the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.
Bicycle commuters crossing the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.

More than 30 years ago, an argument with a friend made me question my stance on the power of individual actions. We were discussing climate change, an issue that was just getting the public’s attention. My friend, an organic farmer, argued that not only can the consistent actions of one person influence others, but also that small actions by an increasing number of individuals can add up to a critical mass that leads to change from the ground up, which in turn becomes a social movement.

Before she was done talking I was shaking my head.

“No way,” I said…


Climate change will force more people to leave their homes than at any other point in human history. Conflict is inevitable.

The 30 years from 2020 to 2050 will be among the most transformative decades in all of human history. Collapsing ice sheets, the aerosol crisis, and rising sea levels will force more people to leave their homes than at any other point in human history. In some places, that means conflict is inevitable.

A study from researchers at the University of California at Berkeley found that higher temperatures and shifting patterns of extreme weather can cause a rise in all types of violence, from domestic abuse to civil wars. …


The Color of Climate

Getting rid of the police could remove a key environmental stressor of Black people

This is The Color of Climate, a weekly column from OneZero exploring how climate change and other environmental issues uniquely impact the future of communities of color.

When Kari Fulton walks outside in West Baltimore, she regularly sees cop cars patrolling the streets, helicopters hovering in the sky, or beat cops walking around the neighborhood.

“They’re there,” Fulton, a policy fellow with the Climate Justice Alliance, tells OneZero. But, she adds, “they don’t give a shit about the community.”

Baltimore is one of several U.S. cities where residents are calling for public officials to defund the police in the wake…


The Color of Climate

The company’s recent Black Lives Matter message doesn’t jive with its actions

This is The Color of Climate, a weekly column from OneZero exploring how climate change and other environmental issues uniquely impact the future of communities of color.

Last week, Chevron joined the countless number of corporations that have released statements about racial injustice in the wake of nationwide uprisings to protest the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Last Friday, the company tweeted an image with the words “racism has no place in America” along with a link to a page on its website with quotes about racial justice from company executives.

“I share the anger and pain felt by…


EEE kills almost half of its victims, and cases are on the rise

In springtime, when the swamps behind the Mosman’s family home filled with fresh water, Keith, the eldest son, and Scott, his younger brother, would tramp barefoot through vernal pools in search of turtles, snakes, and frogs, returning hours later dotted with mosquito bites from the scourge that bred among the red maple tree roots. It was the 1970s, and Raynham, Massachusetts, where the Mosmans lived, was still a rural town. As the boys grew older, paddocks gave way to strip malls, apple orchards to housing developments. …

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